Friday, June 09, 2023

Another brief hiatus

Once again my social life has taken up a lot of time and energy today so I will not be posting anything on my blogs. Friday postings will probably also be rare in future

Thursday, June 08, 2023

Risk Factors Associated With Post−COVID-19 Condition
A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

TINY benefit from vaccination -- OR 0.57. Long Covid was
basically just as common in vaccinated and unvaccinated people

Vasiliki Tsampasian et al.

Question Which individuals are at risk of developing post−COVID-19 condition (PCC)?

Findings This systematic review and meta-analysis of 41 studies including 860 783 patients found that female sex, older age, higher body mass index, smoking, preexisting comorbidities, and previous hospitalization or ICU admission were risk factors significantly associated with developing PCC, and that SARS-CoV-2 vaccination with 2 doses was associated with lower risk of PCC.

Meanings The findings of this systematic review and meta-analysis provide a profile of the characteristics associated with increased risk of developing PCC and suggest that vaccination may be protective against PCC.


Importance Post−COVID-19 condition (PCC) is a complex heterogeneous disorder that has affected the lives of millions of people globally. Identification of potential risk factors to better understand who is at risk of developing PCC is important because it would allow for early and appropriate clinical support.

Objective To evaluate the demographic characteristics and comorbidities that have been found to be associated with an increased risk of developing PCC.

Data sources Medline and Embase databases were systematically searched from inception to December 5, 2022.

Study Selection The meta-analysis included all published studies that investigated the risk factors and/or predictors of PCC in adult (≥18 years) patients.

Data Extraction and Synthesis Odds ratios (ORs) for each risk factor were pooled from the selected studies. For each potential risk factor, the random-effects model was used to compare the risk of developing PCC between individuals with and without the risk factor. Data analyses were performed from December 5, 2022, to February 10, 2023.

Main Outcomes and Measures The risk factors for PCC included patient age; sex; body mass index, calculated as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared; smoking status; comorbidities, including anxiety and/or depression, asthma, chronic kidney disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, diabetes, immunosuppression, and ischemic heart disease; previous hospitalization or ICU (intensive care unit) admission with COVID-19; and previous vaccination against COVID-19.

Results The initial search yielded 5334 records of which 255 articles underwent full-text evaluation, which identified 41 articles and a total of 860 783 patients that were included. The findings of the meta-analysis showed that female sex (OR, 1.56; 95% CI, 1.41-1.73), age (OR, 1.21; 95% CI, 1.11-1.33), high BMI (OR, 1.15; 95% CI, 1.08-1.23), and smoking (OR, 1.10; 95% CI, 1.07-1.13) were associated with an increased risk of developing PCC. In addition, the presence of comorbidities and previous hospitalization or ICU admission were found to be associated with high risk of PCC (OR, 2.48; 95% CI, 1.97-3.13 and OR, 2.37; 95% CI, 2.18-2.56, respectively). Patients who had been vaccinated against COVID-19 with 2 doses had a significantly lower risk of developing PCC compared with patients who were not vaccinated (OR, 0.57; 95% CI, 0.43-0.76).

Conclusions and Relevance This systematic review and meta-analysis demonstrated that certain demographic characteristics (eg, age and sex), comorbidities, and severe COVID-19 were associated with an increased risk of PCC, whereas vaccination had a protective role against developing PCC sequelae. These findings may enable a better understanding of who may develop PCC and provide additional evidence for the benefits of vaccination.


Some Sudden Deaths Caused by COVID-19 Vaccines, Autopsies Confirm

Some sudden deaths were caused by COVID-19 vaccines, autopsies have confirmed.

Eight people who died suddenly after receiving a messenger RNA (mRNA) COVID-19 vaccine died due to a type of vaccine-induced heart inflammation called myocarditis, South Korean authorities said after reviewing the autopsies.

“Vaccine-related myocarditis was the only possible cause of death,” Dr. Kye Hun Kim of the Chonnam National University Hospital and other South Korean researchers said.

All of the sudden cardiac deaths (SCD) occurred in people aged 45 or younger, including a 33-year-old man who died just one day after receiving a second dose of Moderna’s vaccine and a 30-year-old woman who died three days after receiving a first dose of Pfizer’s shot.

Myocarditis wasn’t suspected as a clinical diagnosis or cause of death before the autopsies, researchers said.

Thirteen other deaths were recorded among those who experienced myocarditis after COVID-19 vaccination but no autopsy results were detailed. Some of those who died had received AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine.

The results show the need for “careful monitoring or warning of SCD as a potentially fatal complication of COVID-19 vaccination, especially in individuals who are ages under 45 years with mRNA vaccination,” according to the researchers, who reported the findings in a study published by the European Heart Journal on June 2.

The study was funded by the South Korean government.

Dr. Andrew Bostom, a retired professor of medicine in the United States who wasn’t involved in the research, said the results emphasize why mandating and promoting vaccines for younger people was wrong.

“These are people who ostensibly did not need the vaccine,” Bostom told The Epoch Times after reviewing the paper. “That’s what adds insult to injury.”

The overall occurrence of myocarditis after COVID-19 vaccination was rare, according to the study, though one of its limitations is that the true number could be higher.

Out of 44.2 million people who received at least one dose of the Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson & Johnson, or AstraZeneca vaccines between Feb. 26, 2021, to Dec. 31, 2021, 1,533 cases of suspected myocarditis were reported to the Korea Disease Control and Prevention Agency. Out of those, an expert adjudication committee confirmed 480 cases of vaccine-induced myocarditis.

The cases primarily happened in males and people under 40. All but 18 were caused by an mRNA vaccine.

The overall rate was one case per 100,000 vaccinated persons. The highest rates were in 12- to 17-year-olds, with 3.7 cases per 100,000 and 5.2 cases per 100,000 males.

The numbers weren’t broken down by vaccine type and age, meaning the rates were diluted because they included non-mRNA vaccine recipients. Excluding non-mRNA shots has led to the estimation of higher rates in other places, such as 75.9 cases per one million second Pfizer doses in 16- and 17-year-old American males.

Both those numbers and the Korean figures are prone to underreporting. In Korea, authorities automatically excluded any cases involving myocarditis developed 43 days or more after vaccination as well as any cases that included a positive COVID-19 test, despite some experts asserting there’s stronger evidence for vaccine-caused myocarditis than COVID-19-induced heart inflammation.

“We have kids showing up, young adults showing up with chest pain, and most of them end up in the hospital for 24, 48, 72 hours and they go home. But are we missing people that are dying before they get to the hospital?” Dr. Anish Koka, an American cardiologist, told The Epoch Times after reviewing the study.

“Now, just because we live in the real world and we’re not seeing avalanches of kids dying, we know that it’s a rare signal, but how rare is it? Is it happening?” he added. “The new study clearly shows that it’s happening. No doubt we’ve had deaths happen in the U.S. post-vaccine that have just not been attributed correctly.”

Myocarditis is a known side effect of the mRNA COVID-19 vaccines and can cause death, according to previous research and medical examiners. Symptoms included chest pain, trouble sleeping, and fever. While many people who experience myocarditis after vaccination are discharged from the hospital within a day or two, they can still suffer from long-term problems.

The new study classified 1 in 5 vaccine-induced myocarditis cases as severe. Those cases involved one or more of the following: intensive care unit admission, fulminant myocarditis, usage of extracorporeal membrane oxygenation, heart transplantation, and death.

“A fifth of the cases were determined to be serious,” Bostom said. “It’s disturbing.”

Reporting System

South Korea’s government established a reporting system for all adverse events following vaccination before COVID-19 vaccines were rolled out, tying it to a national compensation system that pays for medical expenses related to the adverse events.

The system even provides compensation to people who cannot establish causality to a vaccine but provide evidence such as temporal association, or the event happening soon after vaccination. Authorities also grant money to people who suffer mild effects.

More than 20,000 people were compensated through the program as of August 2022.

In contrast, the system in the United States has compensated just four people as of May 1, and rejected a number whose doctors diagnosed them with vaccine injuries.

Both countries require health care workers to report certain events after vaccination, such as myocarditis, though not all cases have been reported, at least in the United States.

U.S. officials have reviewed autopsies done on people who died after receiving COVID-19 vaccines but have refused to release them. In an update in February, officials said they would provide some information from the autopsy reports but to date have not done so.




Wednesday, June 07, 2023

Why do, even now, so few accept that lockdown was like burning down your home to destroy a wasp's nest?


We will never know exactly how foolish it was to close down the country in the spring of 2020.

It is beginning to dawn on some people that it might actually have been an error. But will it ever be broadly agreed that it was so?

A report published yesterday — hundreds of pages of devastating detail from experts at Johns Hopkins University in the U.S. and Lund University in Sweden — concluded the supposed benefits of lockdown were 'a drop in the bucket' when compared to the costs. Or, as I would put it, they were like burning down your house to get rid of a wasps' nest.

This report (in fact a revised version of an earlier document first issued in May 2022) will shock many Lockdown enthusiasts by saying that closing the country saved as few as 1,700 lives in England and Wales in spring 2020.

It ought to weigh heavily on the anti-panic side of the scales. I hope it will. But will it resolve anything? I have my doubts.

I still meet plenty of people who insist that our only national mistake was not to lock down harder and sooner than we did. This is why I am quite sure many of those who supported these moves will never abandon their position.

Those of us who, like me, took the other view, are unlikely to shift either. Why is this?

I have come to the conclusion that it is really about whether people like being bossed about for their own good, or whether they do not. A surprising number of us turn out to love Big Brother. Not only could these illiberal types not get enough of doom-packed propaganda, decrees urging them to stay at home, keep their distance and wear masks, but they were sorry when it ended.

Those who think that statistics and reason will resolve this are likely to be disappointed.

Here are some riddles that I doubt will ever be solved. What did we mean by a 'Covid death'? Someone who died solely of Covid, somebody who died partly of something else but had Covid at the time, or someone who died almost wholly of something else but had Covid at the time?

I do not think it was ever clear then and so it cannot be clear now. Then there is the cost. Is there any accurate, precise way of counting how many cancer patients died because Covid restrictions postponed urgent treatment?

How will we ever measure precisely how many people had their schooling or university courses wrecked?

Will the price of closing the economy, in inflation, taxes, destroyed businesses and lost jobs, ever be computed?

And what about the old people whose health was damaged by being forced to stay at home and abandon their active existences?

You might as well try to weigh a thunderstorm.

The facts are incredibly difficult to set out precisely and always will be. Behind them all lies an unverifiable claim that doing little or nothing would have killed thousands more.

I would say the example of Sweden shows this is not true. Sweden got by well without closing down. But they will be met by others who say its more restrictive Nordic neighbours did better, and it was saved by its position far from the main travel routes of the world.

Even what seems to me to be clear evidence that masks were futile is disputed by others who insist they were effective. So those who wish to believe this was a good idea are difficult to persuade otherwise.

While I have my own opinions, and am very glad I expressed them, my heart sinks at the prospect of years of reports and counter-reports. Everything in this debate moves just out of our reach, like a mirage, as you try to grab it.

Though my own view is pretty much the same as that of the report, will it persuade you? And will Lady Hallett's official Covid Inquiry solve the problem? I rather doubt it.

There is one good thing, which yesterday's document confirms. Debate was justified.

It was reasonable for me to raise objections at the time. It is increasingly respectable to suspect something went badly wrong, that at least we might have gone too far, that smart scientific and medical voices such as Sunetra Gupta and Carl Heneghan were justified and responsible when they raised doubts; and that Jonathan Sumption, the retired Supreme Court judge, was also acting responsibly when he protested against the suppression of liberty by ill-made and excessive laws.

After all, common sense should have warned us that the spring 2020 restrictions were an astonishing departure from normal practice.

An average of about 11,000 people a week die in England and Wales in normal circumstances. I remember producing such figures on the average deaths per week or per day to try to calm things down as the shutdown frenzy gathered pace.

People die all the time. It is very sad, and often avoidable, but it was not — at the scale we were experiencing — a reason to close society and the economy.

It was fascinating how little effect it had. Almost everyone I knew actively preferred to be terrified, as if they longed for Big Brother to enfold them in his strong and loving arms.

Terrifying accounts of overloaded Covid wards circulated. And then there were the TV reports from northern Italy. I would love to see those reports calmly re-analysed now. But the impression they gave was, on the face of it, horrifying. Pictures of great piles of coffins — something everyone involved would once have striven to keep off the air because it was so macabre — probably clinched it.

Lockdown's godfather, British epidemiologist Professor Neil Ferguson, has since explained how the spectacle of a health crisis in Italy persuaded British authorities to follow the Chinese model instead. He described how Sage, the Government's scientific advisory group, had watched as China's despots embarked on an unheard-of form of disease control by shutting down an entire province.

'They claimed to have flattened the curve. I was sceptical at first. I thought it was a massive cover-up by the Chinese. But as the data accrued it became clear it was an effective policy.

'Then, as infections seeded across the world, springing up like angry boils on the map, Sage debated whether, nevertheless, it would be effective here. 'It's a Communist one-party state,' we said. 'We couldn't get away with it in Europe,' we thought. In February one of those boils raged just below the Alps.

'And then Italy did it. And we realised we could.'

What he meant by 'get away with it', I am not quite sure.

'Effective' still seems to me to be an unjustified claim. Why would anyone see such things in these terms? But an internal Government document from around the same time spoke openly of fanning fear, advising officials: 'A substantial number of people still do not feel sufficiently personally threatened . . . The perceived level of personal threat needs to be increased among those who are complacent, using hard-hitting emotional messaging.'

In my view it was this, the acceptance of Chinese totalitarian methods as normal, the use of fear to isolate and crush opposition, that were plainly wrong and should never ever be allowed to happen again.

There should have been free, two-sided debate. Whatever you think about the effectiveness of lockdowns, we must not allow ourselves to be frightened into the strong arms of Big Brother. Next time, he may be more reluctant to let us go free again.


COVID-19 Vaccine Effectiveness Degrades to 9% After Nine Months

Researchers affiliated with Northern Italian academic medical centers in Tento and Milan analyzed 40 studies in a systematic meta-analysis chronicling vaccination status and subsequent COVID-19 infection confirmed by standard testing. Covering periods during circulation of both the Delta and Omicron variants, the study was published in the peer-reviewed journal JAMA Network Open.

On average vaccine effectiveness after 30 days was 53%.when it comes to protection against symptomatic COVID-19. This was regardless of COVID-19 vaccine, whether the mRNA vaccines (Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna) or other COVID-19 jabs from AstraZeneca or Sinovac. The researchers represented by corresponding author Piero Poletti, PhD, Bruno Kessler Foundation reports that the investigators did detect variances among different vaccines. For example, on the higher end of performance, Moderna’s mRNA jab averaged 62% effective against symptomatic disease 30 days after vaccination; that performance waned considerably when looking at the Sinovac vaccine performance (32%) after 30 days.

After six months vaccine performance is abhorrent, equaling 14% on average for all the vaccines, dropping further to 9% after nine months. Not surprisingly, the durability of the vaccines worsened during the Omicron stage versus the time when Delta was predominantly in circulation. While as with other studies, this meta-analysis revealed that administration of a booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine surge protection again to primary vaccination levels (60% at 30 days), unfortunately, and not surprisingly, this protection degraded rapidly (13% at nine months).

This study included numerous limitations. For example, the study team didn’t look into levels of protection associated with severe disease, hospitalization and death associated with COVID-19. TrialSite has reviewed numerous studies and the COVID-19 vaccines tend to perform somewhat better for longer periods of time against more serious, severe cases, but their performance does wane as well.


The authors report that vaccine effectiveness differences across age groups were only partially assessed. Original vaccine effectiveness estimates against Omicron symptomatic disease and laboratory-confirmed infection associated to sublineages BA.1 and BA.2. Although a similar waning of vaccine immunity was found between these 2 sublineages, uncertainty remains on the effect of booster doses against more recent sublineages and the temporal patterns of VE associated with bivalent vaccines. The authors report that estimates of vaccine effectiveness against laboratory-confirmed infection must be cautiously interpreted. Several other limitations are delineated.


The Italian led team evaluated the duration of vaccine-induced protection against symptomatic and laboratory-confirmed infection against the Delta and Omicron variants. The authors report:

“The estimates provided in this study can be instrumental to evaluate the susceptibility profile of populations with different levels of vaccinations, uptake by age, and vaccine products. This work could foster discussion on appropriate targets and timing for future vaccination programs.”

Importantly all of the COVID-19 vaccines waned in effectiveness, evidencing “a marked immune escape is associated with Omicron infection and symptomatic disease, with similar waning rates after the primary vaccination cycle and the booster dose.”

While a booster dose can be immune-inducing, and thus a “restoration of the vaccine protection against symptomatic disease to levels comparable to those estimated soon after completion of the primary cycle” these rates decline fast as well. Although primary series and boosters based on other studies do offer a more robust durability against severe disease, hospitalization and death. But it’s not quantifiably clear how robust this protection is either.




Tuesday, June 06, 2023

Vaccine Critic Banned by Major Social Media Site, Campaign Pages Blocked

Twitter owner Elon Musk invited Democrat presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. for a discussion on his Twitter Spaces after Kennedy said his campaign was suspended by Meta-owned Instagram.

“Interesting… when we use our TeamKennedy email address to set up @instagram accounts we get an automatic 180-day ban. Can anyone guess why that’s happening?” he wrote on Twitter. An accompanying image shows that Instagram said it “suspended” his “Team Kennedy” account and that there “are 180 days remaining to disagree” with the company’s decision.

In response to his post, Musk wrote: “Would you like to do a Spaces discussion with me next week?” Kennedy agreed, saying he would do it Monday at 2 p.m. ET.

Hours later, Kennedy wrote that Instagram “still hasn’t reinstated my account, which was banned years ago with more than 900k followers.” He argued that “to silence a major political candidate is profoundly undemocratic.”

“Social media is the modern equivalent of the town square,” the candidate, who is the nephew of former President John F. Kennedy, wrote. “How can democracy function if only some candidates have access to it?”

It’s not the first time that either Facebook or Instagram has taken action against Kennedy. In 2021, Instagram banned him from posting claims about vaccine safety and COVID-19.

After he was banned by the platform, Kennedy said that his Instagram posts raised legitimate concerns about vaccines and were backed by research. His account was banned just days after Facebook and Instagram announced they would block the spread of what they described as misinformation about vaccines, including research saying the shots cause autism, are dangerous, or are ineffective.

“This kind of censorship is counterproductive if our objective is a safe and effective vaccine supply,” he said at the time.

Kennedy, the son of former presidential candidate and Sen. Robert Kennedy, has for years helped to popularize the assertion that vaccines are liked to autism. Kennedy’s Children’s Health Defense, before it was also banned on Facebook and Instagram in 2022, claimed that tetanus vaccines can cause infertility and that polio vaccines are actually responsible for a rise in polio cases worldwide.

However, critics of Big Tech monopolies have said social media companies should not be the arbiters of what can and cannot be posted, saying that some content moderation policies around “misinformation” is tantamount to censorship.

That criticism reached a boiling point in early 2021 after former President Donald Trump was banned on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and other Big Tech sites before his accounts were mostly reinstated. A number of other prominent conservatives and individuals who questioned mainstream narratives were also banned in 2021 and 2022.

Because of the widespread bans that were handed down, some alternative social media websites like Trump’s Truth Social, video platform Rumble, Gettr, and others were created. When Musk bought Twitter late last year, he moved to reinstate a number of prominent conservative accounts, including Trump’s page, although the former president hasn’t yet used it and currently posts on Truth Social.

Censored for ’18 Years’

During his 2024 presidential announcement, Kennedy said that he’s been censored “for 18 years,” likely due to his claims about vaccines. “They shouldn’t have shut me up that long,” he said, adding that he’s “really” going to “let loose on them for the next 18 months.”

In an interview with CNN days later, Kennedy was asked about who censored him and why. He responded by saying that at least a dozen Democrat attorney generals recently had contacted social media sites to “censor me” and said that there is now “clear evidence” via the Twitter Files reporting that White House officials colluded with Big Tech to suppress his accounts.


Low COVID-19 Pediatric Vax Rates: Parents Concerned about Long-Term Effects of mRNA Vaccines & Responsibility

A recent study conducted by the Center for Economic and Social Research (CESR) at the University of Southern California (USC) Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences investigates why COVID-19 rates among children are so low. The study led by research scientist Ying Liu and colleagues finds that parents worry about long-term risks associated with the COVID-19 vaccines, not to mention the responsibility of being at fault should their children become ill after the inoculation procedure.

Recently published in Pediatrics, the USC Dornsife team surveyed parents in the Understanding America Study during the Omicron variant’s surge between February and March 2022, when pediatric COVID-19 cases peaked. The Southern California-led team covers the topic of lower COVID-19 vaccine rates across the pediatric population.

For example, while 92% of adults have received COVID-19 vaccination, only 39% of children 5 to 11 and 68% of persons 12 to 17 are fully vaccinated.

The study results reveal that 45% of parents believed the vaccine’s long-term risks to their child outweighed the risks of not being vaccinated. 18% of the surveyed parents articulated that they would feel responsible if their child became sick post-vaccination.

According to study lead, Liu, “Parents’ hesitancy may be partly driven by apprehension about the vaccine, stemming from its rapid development and the use of newer techniques.”

"People often exhibit a more cautious approach when making medical decisions for others, including their own children, than for themselves,” Liu said. “Some tend to do nothing rather than vaccinate their child, even though such inaction could result in negative consequences.”

The study authors appear substantially focused on the driving goal of increasing the COVID-19 vaccination rate of young people, less a deeper look into parental concerns.

Parental concerns about the prospect of the COVID-19 vaccine's long-term effects aren’t irrational. The COVID-19 vaccines (the current commercial investigational products) have not been studied long-term. True, mRNA-based vaccines and therapies have been under investigation for a few decades, but actual commercial products are just a few years old. TrialSite has reported before on Moderna in its investor disclosure reports in 2019 and 2020, indicating the totally novel nature of the mRNA vaccine products.

In fact, the current bivalent COVID-19 vaccines now in circulation remain investigational and under emergency use authorization. The versions of the vaccine that were licensed/approved (monovalent primary series of both Pfizer-BioNtech and Moderna) have been scrapped by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in favor of the investigational bivalent products.

While some studies suggest the risks of myocarditis/pericarditis associated with mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines are substantially less than the risk associated with COVID-19 itself, other studies reveal a disturbingly high incidence of cardiovascular-related adverse events associated with the vaccines.

The FDA has authorized the bivalent COVID-19 (original strain and BA.4/BA.5) vaccine now as the only product available for children aged 6 months and up. The overall vaccination rate associated with experimental (investigational) released in September 2022 hovers at about 20% for all eligible Americans. Clearly, some concerns accumulate across society about the COVID-19 vaccines.

Concerns about myocarditis for example should be discussed openly—not discounted while other COVID-19 pediatric risk-benefit factors such as state and severity of the virus, variant, infection rate and natural immunity from previous infection all need to be understood as part of an unfolding pediatric-based` risk-benefit analyses.


The European left’s fascism fantasy

France, Sweden, Italy, Finland and now Spain. The demise of the left in western Europe continues apace and yet their only solution is to seethe about fascists in a make believe world of their own.

Nine months after Giorgia Meloni was elected Prime Minister – remember the hysterical warnings about her being Mussolini in heels – the only horror the Italian left has experienced is electoral wipeout. At last weekend’s local elections, Meloni’s conservative Brothers of Italy party romped to victory in many towns that were once staunchly Socialist. As a jubilant Meloni crowed: ‘Strongholds [of the left] no longer exist.’

Nine months after Giorgia Meloni was elected Prime Minister, the only horror the Italian left has experienced is electoral wipeout

At the same time Italians were endorsing Meloni, Spanish voters showed what they thought of the ruling Socialist Workers’ party in their local and religion elections. Not much. The big winners were the Popular party and Vox, prompting a rattled Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez to call a snap general election. According to El Pais his Socialist party needs ‘a miracle to halt the conservative wave that has already swept through several European countries’.

Vox have in the past been compared to the Nazi party, though these days the left sees Hitler and Mussolini on every street corner. Querying the wisdom of mass immigration is one short goosestep from fascism, as is sticking up for the traditional family structure or simply waving your country’s flag.

When Meloni was elected Prime Minister of Italy in September the news wasn’t well received by her French counterpart. One might have expected Elisabeth Borne – a Socialist by breeding before she jumped ship to Macron’s centrist party – to be the first on the phone to celebrate Girl Power. Instead Borne gave a masterclass in pomposity, declaring that Meloni better adhere to European ‘values’, or else.

Borne was on her high horse again on Sunday, using an interview to describe Marine Le Pen’s National Rally as the ‘heir to Pétain’, and warning against any ‘normalisation’ of the party.

Borne’s reference to Marshal Philippe Pétain’s wartime Vichy government has infuriated Le Pen’s party, and even irritated Emmanuel Macron. During a Council of Ministers on Tuesday the president upbraided his Prime Minister by stating that ‘you won’t be able to make millions of French people who voted for the far right believe that they are fascists.’

Such tactics might have worked in the 1990s, added the president, ‘but the fight against the far right no longer involves moral arguments.’

Macron is correct. Had Borne, the daughter of a holocaust survivor, made her comments three decades earlier she would have been on firmer ground. When Le Pen’s father, Jean-Marie, founded the National Front in 1972 it contained some very unpleasant individuals, including the vice-president, who served in the Milice, Vichy’s paramilitary wing, and the treasurer, who fought for the French Charlemagne Division in the Waffen SS.

Then again, the Socialist party of the 1970s also contained some dubious characters, such as its leader, Francois Mitterrand. He worked for the Vichy regime in the early years of the war and, during his 14 years as president, he steadfastly refused to apologise for the complicity of France in deporting 74,100 Jews to concentration camps. The Vichy police chief who organised the deportation, Rene Bousquet, was a friend of Mitterrand after the war.

The Vichy period was a complex one for the Republic. As Julian Jackson wrote in France: The Dark Years 1940-1944: ‘The collaborationist world was not homogeneous – it contained pacifists and fascists, Socialists and Catholics… collaborationist politics was a vipers’ nest of hatreds.’

More to the point, that period is in in the past and it is best left alone by 21st century politicians. The same is true in Italy; it’s the present that matters and Meloni’s popularity tells its own story.

So does Le Pen’s, whose party is widely acknowledged to have emerged from the pension reform saga in the best shape. Recent opinion polls indicate that she is enjoying unprecedented levels of approval among the electorate.

The National Rally are also benefiting from the rampant lawlessness engulfing France and the lack of any coherent government strategy to tackle the growing immigration crisis.

These issues explain the recent successes of socially conservative parties throughout most of continental Europe. In truth, however, their popularity has as much to do with voters’ rejection of radical progressivism, the aggressive and divisive dogma that has so intoxicated the left this century.

Politicians like Elisabeth Borne should stop wasting words demonising the opposition and focus their energy on how they can normalise the left.

Too many on the European left have turned their backs on their traditional bases. They have courted middle-class students and urban elites, pandering to their esoteric social justice obsessions while sneering at the working-class respect for faith, flag and family. Nor do they seem particularly bothered about the crises in health, education and social housing.

That is why Meloni is Prime Minister and Marine Le Pen’s National Rally have 88 MPs in the National Assembly; not because they are fascists but because they have replaced the left.




Monday, June 05, 2023

French Research Establishment Intensifies Attack Against Hydroxychloroquine Proponents during COVID-19

A controversial French physician-investigator and hydroxychloroquine proponent continues to find trouble, as it’s now reported in French media that top researchers in an op-ed in a popular media seek to punish Didier Raoult and colleagues given that they designed and conducted the large study investigating the use of hydroxychloroquine targeting COVID-19, what the opponents tout as being described as “the largest ‘unauthorized’ clinical trial ever seen.”

Why the ongoing, continued attacks, given French society has moved beyond the COVID-19 emergency? Just about nothing was more controversial than the use of repurposed drugs targeting COVID-19.

Of course, this news represents the continued controversy of the repurposed generic drug hydroxychloroquine as a possible treatment for COVID-19. Much of the medical establishment has written off this drug, yet the studies have trickled in suggesting some promise regardless of the naysayers. But whom to believe? This is the challenge.

The medical establishment, defined for purposes herein represents the leading opinions emanating from the predominant health care systems, hospitals and clinics, medical research universities and government health agencies from regulators to public health of a nation, region or even worldwide. In the intensive controversy and conflict over key topics during the COVID-19 pandemic, TrialSite observed that nothing can become more politicized than the topic of medicine and broader healthcare. It’s a $1+ trillion economy in America and a lot of smart people with a lot of evidence-backed options, at times on both sides of a polar oppositional equation. But the world can be a complex place, as can be science, and an open mind, with an objective stance is required, along with the wherewithal to continuously scan unfolding data from around the world.

Controversy & politicization

Perhaps, no drug was more politicized than hydroxychloroquine (of course unless its ivermectin), as early on in the pandemic as under the Trump presidency. The Food and Drug Administration in March 2020 reluctantly issued an emergency use authorization for the drug. This action was seen as the Trump administration trying to force a solution on the regulatory agencies, leading to mounting tension, and according to TrialSite accounts, outright information war between different factions of power. Ultimately, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), FDA and a majority consensus of the medical and research establishment, the drug was to be avoided for any use involving COVID-19. See the ongoing FDA recommendation to not prescribe the drug.

Similar tensions broke out in other countries, such as Brazil, where their conservative president Jair Bolsonaro also openly supported use of the drug in response to the pandemic. Along the way, strange and even shady situations emerged such as Surgisphere, a Chicago-based analytics company that came under scrutiny by May 2020. The company purportedly provided large datasets of COVID-19 patients, publishing the data in The Lancet and the New England Journal of Medicine by May 2020. TrialSite openly questioned the credibility of the studies based on the highly questionable access to pervasive health data around the world.

TrialSite engaged with the company to elicit questions while the prestigious journals that strangely published the Surgisphere material ultimately retracted those articles.

But why did such prestigious journals publish such questionable material so fast? Was it the urgency of the moment—those early days in the pandemic? Or were more nefarious elements involved? The data suggested a “significantly higher risk of death” associated with hydroxychloroquine. An anti-hydroxychloroquine fervor intensified and even the World Health Organization dropped its clinical trials testing the drug.

The NIH backed off on any positive finding, only to recommend the drug if for a clinical trial. Several studies showed promising results as reported in TrialSite, such as an observational study conducted at Henry Ford Health System.

The situation became so ridiculous in America that at one point during the pandemic if someone raised the topic of hydroxychloroquine, they were immediately labeled a right wing, Trump-loving, MAGA supporter, or loon from the mainstream. And dare to challenge its efficacy to the drug’s proponents, and you were a bought off shill for Big Pharma. The pandemic revealed the worst of our character.

On the one side was an all-encompassing, uniform response that the drug just didn’t work against SARS-CoV-2—ignoring any positive data that may have been generated; while a vocal minority, backed at first by Trump and MAGA, swore the drug could do miracles. Both sides were incorrect.

The French study

TrialSite reported on some of the research led by Dr. Raoult, who used to head the IHU Mediterranee research hospital, and his colleagues who were, especially before the introduction of the COVID vaccines, open to the use of repurposed drugs such as hydroxychloroquine and ivermectin during the height of the pandemic. The medical establishment in France is outraged that this cohort of physician-scientists continued their stance during vaccination.

In a recent France24 entry the French media highlights the influence of Dr. Raoult in his effort to “push” the anti-malaria drug “into public consciousness in the early days” of COVID-19.

In March, Raoult and colleagues published the results of a study involving more than 30,000 COVID-19 patients via the preprint server, meaning the results have yet to be peer reviewed.

By March 2022, TrialSite reported that the French Medicines Agency was investigating Raoult due to the claim that their research lacked ethics committee review.

TrialSite reported, “An infectious disease medical research center and hospital run by the controversial microbiologist Didier Raoult is in serious trouble in France. Criminal charges will be filed by the French Medicines Agency (ANSM) with the Marseilles public prosecution unit against hospital-university institute (IHU). Raoult was an outspoken proponent of using hydroxychloroquine against COVID-19.”

But the research ensued, and as TrialSite reported just in April that while still in preprint, “A large group of French researchers conducted a real-world retrospective study of monocentric cohorts comparing patients who were exposed or not exposed to antiviral regimen using a standard of care in a hospital setting in France from March 2, 2020, to December 31, 2021.

All of this real-world patient data was obtained from the electronic health record and reported to the Strengthening the Reporting of Observational Studies in Epidemiology (STROBE) standard. The patients were cared for at the Institut Hospital Méditerranée Infection Center in Marseille, France. Note, one of the lead authors has been a controversial figure during the pandemic and proponent of Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ).”

During the same month (April), ANSM, the French medication regulatory emphasized that the repurposed drug “exposes patients to potential side effects that can be serious.” Also, just last week, French media including France24 reported that French medical bodies reminded all providers that they should take “measures appropriate to the infractions” for the sake of patient safety as well as “the credibility of French medical research.”

The French media reports that so far none of the physicians have been charged in the Marseille-based investigation opened up in 2022, as reported by TrialSite. But the media is repeating the claim that the IHU Mediterranee clinical trials were both fraudulent and unwarranted—strong claims that need backing with evidence and a court trial assuming any criminal allegations.

The pressure mounts, however, as a group of 16 research bodies in France wrote an op-ed article in Le Monde alleging that Raoult engaged in “systematic prescription of medications as varied as hydroxychloroquine, zinc, ivermectin and azithromycin to patients suffering from Covid-19... without a solid pharmacological basis and lacking any proof of their effectiveness.” The authors argue that despite the drugs being shown to be absolutely ineffective the Marseille group continued to use them for care and research.

Ongoing investigations

An interesting observation, 17 clinical trials continue to investigate the use of hydroxychloroquine as a regimen for COVID-19 based on a search of for active studies. TrialSite does note, however, that at least some of them are all but terminated.

What a difference an interpretation makes

A website tracking the study of repurposed drugs like ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine provides an interesting vantage point. While the site is controversial because the owners of the website don’t reveal themselves (likely for fear of losing their scientific and/or medical-based jobs), it reports 480 hydroxychloroquine COVID-19 studies, 388 peer reviewed, 393 comparing treatment and control groups.

Late treatment and high dosages may be harmful, the aggregate of study interpretation points out, while early treatment consistently shows positive results. Negative evaluations typically ignore treatment delay. Some In Vitro evidence suggested therapeutic levels would not be reached, however, that was incorrect, according to Ruiz. TrialSite reminds all that medical establishments have written any of these positive outcomes off to any number of reasons—badly designed study, etc.

U.S. medical & research establishment: rejects use for COVID-19

So, what’s the answer to the hydroxychloroquine question? Well, that depends on a number of factors, including point of view and paradigm, place of employment and sources.

Check the National Institutes of Health and its clear the apex research institute, along with the rest of the American medical establishment, along with the French and all of the West rejects the use of the anti-malarial drug for COVID-19, both in hospital and non-hospital settings.

The NIH points out, “The safety and efficacy of chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine with or without azithromycin and azithromycin alone have been evaluated in randomized clinical trials, observational studies, and/or single-arm studies.”


Is the UK’s Drug Regulatory Agency Covering Up COVID-19 Vax Death Data? Two Oxford Professors Believe So

Concern for coverups involving deaths associated with the COVID-19 vaccines now stirs the UK tabloid news. Two University of Oxford professors, experts in the field of drug development, have come out and disclosed that despite a 2-million-pound investment in an AI system to improve the Yellow Card safety reporting system at the UK medical regulatory called the Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), it was a complete mess.

Professor Carl Henheghan and Dr. Tom Jefferson made the allegations recently according to DailyMail and other UK media. Is the very watchdog charged with transparency and reporting of adverse events associated with the COVID-19 vaccines involved with obfuscating the details involving AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine-related deaths?

To date, the reporting system included 2,743 logged deaths, but these by no means represent all deaths. Much like the U.S. Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS), these systems typically underreport safety events.

While the Oxford professors report a firm called Genpact was retained to improve the system with AI, there is no evidence that such technology advancements have been used at all. Moreover, the pair report in their own blog that “We can’t find a single analysis or publication from the AI-based system involvement.”

They also note that the MHRA’s expert advisory group tracking clinical trials produced minutes on vaccine safety since 2020, but none of those minutes have been released due to confidentiality until and only when a “final decision has been made.”

They note, “Contradictions galore and the absence of a gizmo to identify deaths. Yes, deaths, not arcane events.” TrialSite asks, "What's going on with the MHRA? Does human life not matter?" A similar pattern appears to be a concern with U.S. agencies. The MHRA alleges that there are inaccuracies in the blog.

Meanwhile, lawsuits mount against AstraZeneca in the UK.




Friday, June 02, 2023

What’s the United Kingdom’s Covid Inquiry and Why Are UK Ministers So Hell Bent on Stopping It?

The UK’s Covid-19 Inquiry, headed by a Baroness, is an independent public inquiry into the British government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic across the UK. With public hearings expected to commence this year, Boris Johnson announced the inquiry May 12, 2021, to commence the spring of 2022. But many of the Ministers will have nothing to do with it if they have their way.

In fact, as reported by Michael Savage and Toby Helm writing for The Guardian, the UK Ministers have little time to assess the pros and cons of launching an unprecedented legal attack against the Covid Inquiry. Now, 10 Downing Street appears to be scrubbing some of their texts, communications and notes. Suddenly they claim they don’t have to save everything on WhatsApp. Sounds fishy.

Why do they want to stop this inquiry? According to the liberal mainstream media founded in 1821, the political governing apparatus (e.g., the political ruling class of Britain) seeks to maintain a slew of secret sensitive messages involving the likes of former and present-day UK Prime Ministers Boris Johnson and Rishi Sunak.

On Saturday, The Guardian reported just 48 hours remaining before the deadline to hand over unredacted messages and notes involving the former PM (Johnson) and the ministers. The Observer reported over the weekend that the government would remain resolute in not sharing any internal communications or notes, despite the fact that they are quite public in nature.

Well, those 48 hours are up, and the political class has bought itself more time to try to hide COVID-19 secrets, reports The Guardian today.

In what is sure to raise some eyebrows, even in the UK, the Covid Inquiry extended the deadline to receive the former PM’s messages, while No. 10 declares that “some of the PM’s messages at the time were not permanently stored.” What?

That’s right. Now, the political class in the UK at the highest levels is claiming that some of Boris Johnson’s messages sent via WhatsApp aren’t ‘permanently stored.’

Downing Street, which is the PM and their officials, has gone on the record that some of the former PM’s COVID-19 pandemic messaging just may not be stored.

Of course, this means that the British ruling political class, likely in an attempt to cover up various shenanigans during the pandemic, now is in a frenetic effort to destroy as much evidence as possible, right in plain sight!

The latest report from The Guardian points out that the heads of the British government claim there is no requirement to retain every WhatsApp message after the Cabinet Office informed the Covid-19 Inquiry it cannot hold all of the evidence requested about the former PM. Johnson’s spokesperson went on the record, “We do not permanently store or record every WhatsApp.”

TrialSite provides a brief summary of some of the more contentious issues.

Why is this conflict so heavily reported and important?

With an imminent public hearing, the inquiry will expose prominent Tories such as David Cameron and George Osborne interrogated about their instructions to underlings to prepare for the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as their quite private discussions about any impacts on austerity on the British National Health System (NHS).

Does the PM and Cabinet Office believe they have privacy exemptions for COVID-19 pandemic preparedness?

Yes. In fact, according to an account in The Observer, the Cabinet Office believes it has the power to supersede any Covid Inquiry powers to compel it to hand over unredacted material that the elites deem “unambiguously irrelevant.”

What’s the rationale—the basis for excluding themselves from such a public inquiry?

According to lawyers representing the top ministers, such disclosures of information would inhibit or impede comparable future policy discussion, establishing what they argue is a dangerous precedent. Human Rights Act and data protection laws are cited as bolstering sources of protection.

What’s the position of senior political figures countering the Ministers?

Represented by Tory attorney Dominic Grieve, the forces behind the Covid Inquiry are adamant as to the prospects of disclosure. The Guardian reported comments from Mr. Grieve:

“They’ve either got to hand the material over, or they have got to bring judicial review proceedings on the basis that her request is unreasonable. I think it is likely they will be given a pretty short shrift if they turn up at court to argue that.”

“Seeing that Heather Hallett is cleared to a very high level of security, why should it matter that she sees the entirety of [the material]? She will decide what is relevant.”

So, what does the Baroness have to do with it?

A Baroness, Heather Carol Hallett, a retired English judge of the Court of Appeals and a crossbench life peer, was just the fifth woman ever to sit in the Court of Appeal. She led independent inquest into the 7.7 bombings. And by December 2021, the Baroness was announced as the chair of the UK’s Public Inquiry into the UK Government’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

For those Anglophiles interested in British political intrigue in more detail follow the link to the local press. TrialSite tracks this inquiry based on ongoing interest in the COVID-19 pandemic, involving a confluence of forces from the biomedical research apparatus, government and health systems.


The Cape Byron Lighthouse Declaration: a ‘suspended’ guide to making healthcare great again

Julie Sladden

Lighthouses have served mariners for centuries, warning of nearby dangers. Cape Byron is no exception, guiding the route of countless mariners with its beams offering security and guidance. It seems, therefore, a fitting place for three resolute Australian health professionals, to gather and make a declaration against the censorship, coercion, and medical tyranny of the past three years.

These three would call themselves ordinary Australians, but when you hear their stories, you realise they are anything but. Critical care and anaesthesia specialist doctor Paul Oosterhuis, mental healthcare doctor Robert Brennan, and ‘former psychologist’ Ros Nealon-Cook did not know each other three years ago, but their paths brought them to the same point in September 2021. And that point can be described with one word: suspended. Their crime? Speaking out against Australia’s Covid pandemic response.

Rather than step back into the shadows, they have instead renewed their vows to stand and propose a blueprint for the redemption of healthcare in The Cape Byron Lighthouse Declaration.

Each of their stories is different and you can listen to a full version online, but I’ll give you the abridged version here. Dr. Brennan was suspended following complaints for distributing flyers and his association with the Covid Medical Network (now Australian Medical Network). Dr. Oosterhuis was suspended following anonymous complaints regarding his social media posts. And Ros Nealon-Cook was suspended following ten complaints about a video she released outlining serious harm to children due to the Australian government’s pandemic response measures.

Hardly crimes of the century. In fact, not crimes at all.

When you consider that one of AHPRA’s purposes is to ‘protect the public’ what possible motive could there be for suspending a qualified, experienced, and respected health practitioner for expressing their professional opinion in the context of a health issue?

I digress.

Ros Nealon-Cook describes how these three found each other and the idea for the declaration:

‘We were all suspended within several days of each other in September 2021 and were all targeted. We became sort of like war buddies. Quite draconian measures were used by AHPRA, by the boards, by the Health Care Complaints Commission, and all these different tentacles of the government. We were threatened with criminal action and all sorts of things. It was just this constant campaign of bullying… They even came after me for a psychiatric evaluation, which I didn’t go to, but they did on me by transcribing interviews.’

Yep, you read that right: a psychiatric evaluation was done on a healthcare practitioner, without them even being there.

(Who are these people?!)

Nealon-Cook continues, ‘The idea for the declaration started as a bit of a joke, and one day I just said to Paul and Robert, “Oh for goodness sake, let’s do our own Great Barrington declaration… but we’ll make it all about the censorship and bullying of health professionals.” We had a bit of a laugh about it, and that was it.’

But, as many ideas do, the idea germinated. So, on the dawn of January 22, 2023, the Cape Byron Lighthouse Declaration was born. It states:

All silencing and censorship by bureaucrats and regulators, including of experienced practitioners and scientists must stop. There must be respect for every individual’s right to freedom of opinion and expression.

The right to ‘informed’ consent must be upheld – and must include being fully informed of relevant risks, as well as any benefits (proven or presumed).

Mandates and other forms of medical coercion are unethical – and must cease. Bodily autonomy is the inalienable right of every individual – and must be respected.

There is an urgent need for transparency and reform in science and medicine and to halt the increasing globalisation of public health. We demand the restoration of voice and decision power to individual practitioners – and those they serve.

Since its launch a few weeks ago, the declaration has received international attention and signatures from around the world including France, Germany, the Netherlands, Canada, the UK, and the US with numbers increasing daily.

Three years ago, I could not have conceived we would need such a declaration. But the Covid years have revealed the diseased underbelly of healthcare and its powerful influences. Healthcare, nor the people it serves, cannot thrive in the presence of censorship, coercion, and unethical behaviour. So, the time has come to remind ourselves, our governments, and our leaders of the core foundations.

If the stories of these three health professionals demonstrate anything, it is that silencing and censorship do not work. Eventually the dam wall breaks and such ‘ordinary people’ break through. ‘We didn’t die,’ says Oosterhuis. ‘We got louder.’

‘Paul Rob and I, we’re just normal people,’ says Nealon-Cook. ‘We’re not media trained, we fumble our words and stumble along. But would we do it again? Absolutely. Because we have to. We have to do this, and we’ve lost everything. We’ve lost our careers. We’ve lost our reputations. We’ve lost friends. It’s had really serious impacts on family. But this is so important, and we would do it again and again and again.

‘People keep saying to all of us, “Oh you’re so brave. I could never do that.” I wasn’t brave. I was terrified when I did it, but I’m more terrified of what will happen if we don’t turn this around. Because potentially we’re going to be living in a world where there’s complete censorship, of any debate, any scientific debate, any expertise that doesn’t fit in with the narrative.’

The call to action is clear.

‘There’s a lot of people that are still waiting for this to be solved by someone else. They’re still waiting for the hero on the white charger or the likes,’ says Nealon-Cook. ‘The key piece is that everyone needs to stand up. And the sooner that everyone does that the sooner this is all over.’




Thursday, June 01, 2023

A list of recent summary articles by John Ray

I have just gathered together a number of my more utilitarian articles under the above heading. See


This 21-year-old waitress became a millionaire after losing her job

This is a total scam. Don't get sucked in

Abigail Lois, 21, says she raised $2,530,247 within 2 years from her Bitcoin investment.

“I lost my parents early and lived with my grandmother. From the age of 15, I worked as a waitress in a local restaurant,” Abigail says. “I knew I wouldn't be able to go to college after I graduated from high school, so I continued working full-time to earn money for college.”

During her sleepless nights, Abigail went through all possible options in her head, even the most fanciful.

“One night I remembered cryptocurrencies. I knew very little about them and did not understand how they worked. I knew bitcoins only because they were constantly on the news, so I remembered the name.”

For several days, Abigail was reading comments on Facebook, threads on Twitter, and forums where they discussed investing in cryptocurrencies. There she learned about the new ImmediateEdge .

“Some guy boasted that he made $50,000 in a month without lifting a finger. He claimed that the platform algorithm was working for him. He even attached a screenshot of his e-wallet for sceptics.”

By then, Abigail was so desperate that she decided to give it a try. But first she read all the reviews about ImmediateEdge that she found on the Internet.

“I really had never heard of this platform before, but the guys on Twitter and Reddit said they've been making money like that for a long time. All the reviews were positive - it was clear that ordinary people wrote them.”

Abigail invested $250 in the platform.

"I was very nervous. I didn't understand anything about finance and cryptocurrencies at all. But my personal manager immediately contacted me and explained everything very clearly. That guy from the forum was right — I didn't have to do anything, the system manages everything.”

Since then, Abigail has been spending money on handbags without a second thought. She now has $2,530,247 in her account.

Since publishing this article, the makers of ImmediateEdge have contacted our financial editors and have offered our readers exclusive access to the remaining spots in the ImmediateEdge system. Take our short 3-question quiz below to see if you qualify.


The garlic cure

A report by the Peter Doherty Institute suggests that good old Aussie garlic is good for warding off the coronavirus. ‘Scientists at Doherty have been researching garlic properties over the past 18 months and have discovered a certain Australian grown garlic variety demonstrates antiviral properties with up to 99.9 per cent efficacy against the viruses which cause Covid-19 and the common flu,’ reported the AFR.

It was always the case that the grotesque government over-reach that blighted (and destroyed) so many lives during the so-called pandemic of 2020 and 2021 would either end in tragedy or – as is clearly now the case – in farce. Were the lockdowns, the internal border closures, the mask and vaccine mandates, the social distancing, the banning of various therapies, the hotel quarantines, the endless press conferences and the ‘pandemic of the unvaccinated’ all potentially avoidable using the oldest naturopathic remedy known to mankind?

Ultimately. some human actions occur on such a vast and incomprehensible scale that they defy normal responses. Surely the common-sense reaction to the Covid years would see a sensible royal commission or other such official inquiry taking place to determine what we as a society can learn from where we went right and where we went wrong during Covid. This is how we normally respond to unusual events, be they hurricanes or other natural disasters on a confronting scale, or criminal or other unsavoury behaviour by our authorities or elected officials.

What the Covid era showed so insidiously and so uniquely was that there was a grotesque abuse of power in two entirely different spheres: the political and the medical.

Covid should already be in the hands of some form of judicial commissioner charged with determining why pregnant women were being arrested in their PJs, why men and women were being put in chokeholds or kicked in the head or slammed to the ground by burly Victorian police officers, why weird detention centres were being constructed, why little old ladies couldn’t take the chihuahua for a walk in the park outside a 5km perimeter and so on. Equally, some form of medical commissioner or public coroner should already be poring over the well-documented excess deaths data to determine whether or not the mandated mRNA vaccines were responsible for killing an unprecedented number of young or healthy people who were never in any serious danger from the virus anyway.

But no, instead the abuses of the Covid era are being busily swept under the carpet. And we watch idly as those who were responsible for potentially some of the greatest of those abuses of power – and, let’s be totally frank here, potentially criminal activity – slink off into early retirement or are safely parachuted into highly paid positions on the international globalist job circuit.

As Rebecca Weisser writes this week, we are now teetering on the brink of an even more potentially devastating event: the possibility of a Global Pandemic Treaty courtesy of the deeply compromised and discredited World Health Organisation. The Spectator Australia has repeatedly warned against this continually developing threat, which has been in the making for several years.

Days before last year’s federal election, then prime minister Scott Morrison rushed onto radio 2GB with astonishing haste to deny and denigrate as a ‘conspiracy theory’ our Flat White editorial warning that Australia was set to sign the treaty that very week. A year on, that warning is more needed than ever.

Instead, as the world hurtles towards a totalitarian health system that would make Orwell spin in his grave, we are hilariously told that a decent diet of Aussie garlic may well have been the answer all along


All Infected in COVID Outbreak at CDC Conference Were Vaccinated, Agency Confirms

A COVID-19 outbreak unfolded at a conference held by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) despite most attendees being vaccinated.

About 1,800 CDC staffers and others gathered in April in a hotel in Atlanta, where the CDC is headquartered, for a conference focused on epidemiological investigations and strategies.

On April 27, the last day of the conference, several people notified organizers that they had tested positive for COVID-19. The CDC and the Georgia Department of Public Health worked together to survey attendees to try to figure out how many people had tested positive.

“The goals were to learn more about transmission that occurred and add to our understanding as we transition to the next phase of COVID-19 surveillance and response,” the CDC said in a May 26 statement.

Approximately 80 percent of attendees filled out the survey. Among those, 181 said they tested positive for COVID-19.

Every person who reported testing positive was vaccinated, a CDC spokesperson told The Epoch Times via email.

Nearly all respondents—99.4 percent—to the survey had received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose. And “there were very few unvaccinated attendees in general,” the spokesperson said.

Officials did not break down the vaccinated between those who had received a dose of the updated bivalent vaccines and those who had not. They were also not able to say how many people among those who tested positive work for the CDC.

“The survey did not ask about place of employment and responses were anonymous, so we are not able to answer this question,” the CDC spokesperson said.

About 360 people did not respond to the survey, so the actual outbreak may have been larger.

Dr. Eric Topol, director of the Scripps Research Translational Institute, said on Twitter that the numbers made the conference a “superspreader event.”

Dr. Tom Inglesby, director of the Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, added that the outbreak shows COVID-19 is “still capable of causing big outbreaks and infecting many.”

A Georgia Department of Public Health spokesperson told The Epoch Times in an email that many people who attended the conference were not residents of Georgia, and that many used tests at home.

There were no mask or vaccine mandates at the conference, though many attendees wore masks anyways, according to the CDC.

Bivalent Protection

The CDC said the survey results “underline the importance of vaccination for protecting individuals against severe illness and death related to COVID-19” because none of the people who said they tested positive reported going to a hospital.

No clinical trial efficacy data are available for the bivalent shots, even though they were first cleared nine months ago. They provide little protection against infection, according to observational data, though officials maintain they protect against severe illness. That protection is short-lived, according to studies, including non-peer-reviewed CDC publications.

The most recent publication, released on May 26, showed poor effectiveness against hospitalization from the Pfizer and Moderna bivalent COVID-19 vaccines, which replaced the old vaccines earlier this year.

Among adults without “documented immunocompromising conditions,” the protection was 62 percent between seven and 59 days but went to 47 percent before plunging to just 24 percent after 120 days.

Among adults with “documented immunocompromising conditions,” the effectiveness peaked at just 41 percent, hitting 13 percent after 120 days.

Researchers did not provide the effectiveness estimates among all adults, or the combined population of those with and without “documented immunocompromising conditions.” They also did not provide the unadjusted vaccine effectiveness (VE) estimates, or estimates before adjusting for certain variables.

“Both the crude VE and adjusted VE should be reported so that big discrepancies are evident to the reader and questioned,” David Wiseman, founder and president of Synechion, told The Epoch Times via email.

Effective against critical illness—defined as admission to intensive care, or death—peaked at 85 among the people deemed immunocompetent, but plunged to 33 percent after 120 days. Among those described as immunocompromised, the effectiveness was not estimated above 53 percent.

Effectiveness was not measured beyond 180 days.

Effectiveness for children was not examined as part of the research.

CDC researchers looked at data from its VISION Network, a network of hospitals in the United States. Exclusions included people under 50 who received four or more old vaccine boosters.

Just 23.5 percent of the immunocompetent and 16.4 percent of the immunocompromised were vaccinated, while the rest had received at least two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.

About 8 percent of American adults are still unvaccinated, according to CDC data, though that percentage may be a big overestimate (pdf).

Researchers said the data showed that bivalent doses “helped provide protection against COVID-19-associated hospitalization and critical disease” adding that “waning of protection was evidence in some groups.”




Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Retracted COVID-19 Papers Cited an Average of 53 Times per Paper

An investigation into COVID-19 research found that among the more than 270,000 papers that have been published since the start of the pandemic, 212 retracted papers were cited 2,697 times, with a median of seven times and an average of 53 times per paper.

A retracted study linking the antimalarial drug Hydroxychloroquine to an increased risk of mortality and heart arrhythmia was the most cited paper with 1,360 citations at the time of data extraction.

Publishing processes were often compromised with COVID-19, according to the co-author of the investigation and director of Cochrane Australia Steve McDonald.

“We saw this push to get information out quickly, and with many more people doing and rapidly publishing COVID research, there’s been a spike in retractions,” senior research fellow McDonald said.

Eighteen percent of citations from retracted papers were critical and “may have directly impacted patient care,” the authors wrote in their paper (pdf).

Despite the retractions, the damage has been done as the research has already been cited by other researchers in the field, spawning more citations.

It had also been reported on in the media, changing the direction of policymaking, including social distancing measures, travel restrictions, and infection control measures which introduced a myriad of disruptions.

Retractions safeguard against error and misconduct, stopping research from impacting scientific ideas and clinical practice, and are crucial to preserving scientific integrity.

However, even high-profile medical journals became vulnerable to haste during the COVID-19 pandemic, the report found.

This comes after hundreds of COVID-19 papers have been removed due to compromising ethical standards, such as using fake or suspect patient data, and were either withdrawn by the prominent medical journals that published them or removed altogether.

Evidence of research papers changing the trajectory of governmental decision-making can be found in the case of monoclonal antibodies, which triggered controversy after several scientists said certain brands of the key COVID-19 treatment would not work for the Omicron variant.

A few months after preprints written by those scientists were published, the monoclonal antibody “sotrovimab” lost Emergency Use Authorisation, causing policymakers to move on to COVID-19 drugs like remdesivir.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) later expanded remdesivir’s authorisation to outpatient treatment and pediatric patients.

Eventually, pandemic response critics put monoclonal antibodies into the alternative treatment group, a place where critics say is automatically stifled or publicly scrutinised as unsafe or ineffective.

Another significant example of governments and the World Health Organisation acting on suspected fraudulent and unverifiable data is the hydroxychloroquine study.

Published in the Lancet on May 2020, the study concluded that the drugs hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine increased the chances of death from COVID-19 at a time when the drug was largely untested.

The authors of the study claimed to obtain medical records of nearly 100,000 patients from hundreds of hospitals on six continents, but more than 100 scientists analysed the findings and found major issues, including inadequate adjustment for variables, a lack of ethics review, and numbers that don’t appear to add up regarding patients in Australia and Africa.

The paper was retracted after two weeks, but it had already shaken the scientific world, prompting the World Health Organization and French authorities to suspend clinical trials testing hydroxychloroquine against COVID-19.

While some studies have shown patients experiencing heart problems when taking hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine, the drugs were approved decades ago and have been used historically by people against malaria and other ailments with little concern.

Why Did This Happen?

McDonald said that preprints—which allow authors to publish early versions of research papers before peer review or journal publications—resulted in dubious COVID-19 science, for academics were able to exploit loopholes in the process.

Further, retracted studies weren’t treated with due severity, McDonald said.

“In theory, when people cite retracted studies, they should be citing them in a critical way, alluding to the fact that these papers have been retracted because the research is unreliable,” he said.

“But what we found was that actually in a lot of these cases, even if the author team who cites the retracted paper were doing so long after the paper had been retracted, they weren’t citing it as a retraction.

“They were using it as evidence that ‘this particular intervention is effective’, or ‘there’s nothing wrong with that research’. So they were uncritically citing retracted papers.”

COVID-19 Research Volume Dwarf Other Pandemics

Different sources have stated that some 90,000 to 450,000 COVID-19 papers have been lodged online since the start of the pandemic, outstripping that of other pandemics “by orders of magnitude.”

One source said nearly 28,000 COVID-19 research papers were published in 2020, rising to nearly 68,000 in both 2021 and 2022, whereas another study quotes 404,541 papers from 2020 to 2022.

The Institute for Scientific Information examined the evolution of research across five pandemics—SARS, MERS, H1N1, Zika virus, and COVID-19.

They found that only H1N1 came close to COVID-19 in numbers, peaking at about 1,300 papers in 2011.

McDonald said the pandemic has exposed frailties in scientific publishing that should serve as a warning to the medical science community.

“Blindly citing papers—irrespective of where they’re published—without first assessing their reliability or retraction status can falsely elevate poor and possibly fraudulent research, potentially harming the very people the research should be helping,” he said.


The German-based Investigational Heart Drug That Just Might Effectively Treat Long COVID

In July 2021, the University Hospital Erlangen, situated just north of Nuremberg, Germany came through with a significant discovery involving an investigational heart drug called BC007. The intellectual property went to an academic medical center spin-off called Berlin Cures. The hospital-based team of clinicians-scientists found that BC007 helped a long COVID patient to become symptom free. What’s the status of this drug? Why have so few in North America heard of the drug?

Recently, a TrialSite community member requested a review of BC007, an asset in the Berlin Cures’ pipeline. The biotech declares via its website that it was the first to pursue scientific findings involving a number of diseases associated with pathological functional autoantibodies targeting G protein-couple’s receptors. The company reports that both heart failure and long COVID fall into this category of disease. According to the company, BC007 “can neutralize these autoantibodies, and this is why Berlin Cures has developed a product based on scientific knowledge that may help many suffering patients.”

What follows is a TrialSite breakdown and update on the product’s clinical development.

What is BC007?

BC007 is a DNA aptamer-based compound bound to and eliminated pathogenic autoantibodies directed against the beta-1 adrenoceptor, a receptor that regulates the heart’s rate and contraction strength. Heart cells are harmed by autoantibodies that chronically bind to this receptor in a process that has been found to lead to heart cell death and organ failure in 80 percent of dilated cardiomyopathy patients.

Berlin Cures' flagship product platform, BC007—a novel drug which the company claims shows “potential to revolutionize the treatment of a number of incurable diseases” associated with pathogenic functional autoantibodies (fAABs).

What’s the company’s operating vision?

The company declares that they seek to lead the market for the neutralization of pathogenic functional autoantibodies—their research to date points to the ability of BC007 to “significantly mitigate or even cure a set of diseases associated with autoantibodies, ranging from Long Covid Syndrome (LCS), Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (ME/CFS), heart failure, and several more.”

What’s the pressing need?

Long COVID may afflict up to 20% of persons infected with SARS-CoV-2—meaning potentially, hundreds of millions worldwide at one point or another during the pandemic may have experienced this condition.

Berlin Cures articulates that BC007 may be “the only drug worldwide that may cure long COVID Syndrome (LCS) at the moment.”

Did BC007 start out as an investigational therapy targeting heart disease?

Yes. The company gave a report via an oral presentation at the March 11 American College of Cardiology’s 2018 annual scientific session in Orlando, Florida. Representatives from the company stated that BC007 was the first drug designed to eliminate autoantibodies that are a major cause of heart failure and to treat heart failure symptoms was effective and well tolerated in a Phase 1 clinical study.

What were the study details?

In the Phase 1 study reported in 2018, the sponsor enrolled 68 subjects and determined that a single dose of intravenous infusion of BC007 was able to eliminate autoantibodies targeting the beta-1 adrenoceptor completely and sustainably. They further reported the investigational product was well tolerated, not provoking any clinically relevant side effects. See the company’s press release.

What about any long COVID evidence?

In July 2021, the period of when Delta was in circulation, media source Archyde, as well as Berlin Cures reported on use of the experimental drug with long COVID.

A group of doctors at the Eye Clinic at the Erlangen University Hospital succeeded for the first time as part of an individual healing attempt involving a 59-year-old man with long COVID Syndrome (long COVID)—he became symptom free thanks to the off label treatment with the experimental drug.

Dr. Christian Mardin, the senior physician running the eye clinic reported, “At the moment, unfortunately, we can no longer treat people with the drug because it has not yet passed all approval studies.”




Tuesday, May 30, 2023

How the COVID-19 Pandemic Caused Massive Mental Illness on the Left

We’ve all noticed it; there has been a distinct rise in online vitriol and mental illness from the left over the last few years, not just online but also making headlines for outrageous behavior in public and in their daily lives. Studies have shown that the COVID-19 lockdowns caused a sharp increase in mental health problems, and since the left locked down the hardest, it makes sense it affected them the worst.

Even for those on the left who didn’t live in heavily locked down areas, their paranoia made them take their own steps to isolate themselves from society. We all know the families who disappeared; they stopped going to church, the gym, and other social activities, refused to let their children participate in sports or hang out with other children due to the brainwashing, which caused a disturbingly sad increase in mental illness among children.

A 2022 study from the National Institutes for Health (NIH) examined the partisan difference in mental health problems caused by the pandemic, and found “a clear partisan distress gap, with Democrats consistently reporting worse mental health than Republicans.” The study observed “Democrats experiencing more disruption of routine and social isolation to reduce the risk of physical illness and Republicans risking physical health to maintain normalcy and sustain social connections.”

The World Health Organization reported that the pandemic triggered a 25% increase in depression and anxiety worldwide. The NIH published a study which found that suicide rates increased by as much as 145%.

Due to excessive paranoia about COVID-19, the left was more likely to find ways to work in social isolation — if they worked at all; many took advantage of the left’s generous expansion of unemployment benefits during the pandemic. A significant negative about working from home is higher stress, since “being ‘always on’ and accessible by technology while working remotely leads to the blurring of work and non-work boundaries,” the World Economic Forum (WEF) reported. The WEF cited a study from the United Nations which found that 41% of remote workers reported high stress levels, compared to just 25% of office workers.

No doubt some of those on the left who have been the hardest hit are paid trolls working from home, who encounter little real social interaction, so most of their days consist of posting vile things on social media towards the right. This is horrible for their mental health, since an NIH study found that “workplace incivility” is correlated “with a host of negative outcomes, including increased burnout, turnover intentions, and physical symptoms.”

Ever since Elon Musk bought Twitter last year, halting the banning of conservatives merely for engaging in healthy debate, the left has gone all out against them with hate. Instead of following through and leaving the platform as the left initially threatened, the paid left-wing trolls have stuck around and multiplied, spewing out hate at an alarming level.

An NIH study of mask wearing among older people found that 25% of them “experienced depressive symptoms.” A study in Hong Kong from Frontiers of Psychiatry which found that psychiatric morbidities including depression increased due to the pandemic, revealed that those who were more educated about COVID-19 were less likely to suffer depression due to masks.

The study said, “[P]articipants who had better knowledge of the disease pandemic and higher perceived self-efficacy to wear masks properly were less likely to report depressive symptoms.”

It found that those who “perceived high severity of the disease outbreak were most likely to report probable depression.” In other words, the fear that leftist government officials and their comrades in the mainstream media put into people about COVID-19, instead of educating them, contributed to mental illness.

Hostility on social media continues to increase, with Pew finding that about 40% of Americans have experienced online harassment, and half of those state it was over politics. Democrats are more likely to get stressed out over talking politics with those on the other side than Republicans. A study in 2021 found that Democrats are now twice as likely as Republicans to end a friendship over politics.

Violent threats from the left regarding politics are becoming more commonplace. This month, after receiving a backlash for putting on a prominent display of radical LGBTQ and Satanist merchandise, Target minimized the display. In response, an LGBTQ supporter sent the corporation an email stating that bombs had been placed in five Target stores.

Unfortunately, it’s difficult to track this rise in hate on the left because most of the research out there is from the left and focuses on making the left victims instead of accurately reporting the data. There are myriads of victim groups on the left like the Anti-Defamation League and Human Rights Watch which appear to exist solely to create the illusion that the right is responsible for all the threats and violence.

We know the hate isn’t increasing on the right, for the simple fact that because other than on Twitter, the right is massively censored by big tech. Those engaging in hate on Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Google, etc. have either been banned, suspended or threatened with bans so much they no longer post as much offensive content. In contrast, the left has free reign on those platforms to bash the right.

The mainstream media won’t cover the increase in hate coming from the left. They publish long, sympathetic articles about left-leaning political figures who have been harassed by the right — some which aren’t even true — while ignoring those of us on the right who are seeing a steady increase in the most vile attacks including death threats.

And perhaps even more alarming, the left already had worse levels of mental illness than the right. The NIH study which found more mental illness among Democrats than Republicans also stated, “This gap did not simply emerge as a result of the pandemic, but rather reflects a pre-existing partisan distress gap.”


Early Use of Molnupiravir antiviral Associated with Reduced Hospitalization and Death Among US Veterans

When both Paxlovid and Molnupiravir were rolled out as EUA oral drugs to treat COVID-19, I accepted them clinically and placed them as antiviral options in the McCullough Protocol.

One of the reasons for my early adoption was that I knew any novel drug advanced by Operation Warp Speed and endorsed by the CDC, FDA and NIH would engage doctors who wanted to treat patients but were fearful of prescribing hydroxychloroquine or ivermectin outside of a clinical trial.

In the McCullough Protocol, no drug is necessary or sufficient, thus any oral antiviral in combination with other medications would comprise a lifesaving “early treatment regimen” as compared to patients who received no medications at all.

Xie et al. reported from the Veterans Administration automated database and found that among US veterans of whom were 92% men aged 70 years, 46% former smokers, 63% vaxxed and boosted, that early use of the SARS-CoV-2 polymerase inhibitor, molnupiravir, especially if started on Day 1, was associated with reduced risk of post-acute sequalae, hospitalization and death after acute COVID-19.

Of note, slightly more patients who received molnupiravir had natural immunity (18%) and more received concurrent corticosteroids (14%). The authors did not account for other ambulatory drugs in the McCullough Protocol, but I anticipate that molnupiravir was associated with more extensive use of multidrug therapy shown to reduce hospitalization and death.

In summary, we use non-randomized analyses such as this not to make therapeutic claims on a specific drug, but to analyze overall patterns of care and in this case, be reassured that early molnupiravir as part of a multidrug regimen was associated with achieving the over-arching goal of reducing hospitalization and death. The only shortcoming is that not all high-risk patients were given a chance with home therapy to survive free of these two outcomes.


Ron DeSantis Running for President on his Covid Record

Given the current political climate and the fact the Covid pandemic has turned into a dividing line between Republicans and Democrats, DeSantis seems to be seeking a way to bolster his conservative credentials, with an anti-vaxx slant. The Florida governor is also looking for a way to distinguish himself from both Donald Trump and Joe Biden. DeSantis’ Covid policies appear to be the way for him to separate from the pack. Afterall his state was the state of freedom during the pandemic, right?

DeSantis critical of both Trump and Biden

This past weekend DeSantis criticized Donald Trump for his Operation Warp Speed imperative during the onset of the Covid pandemic, also going after Joe Biden for his support of vaccine mandates. The Florida Governor declared “The way they weaponized these Covid vaxes was a massive incursion into our freedoms,” the governor said. “They wanted to deny people the right to put food on their table if they didn’t bend the knee and get a Covid shot that they may not have wanted and that many of them did not need.” In reference to Trump, DeSantis added, “We can never allow ‘Warp Speed’ to trump informed consent in this country ever again.” This was regarding Trump’s push to develop the Covid vaccine in conjunction with Big Pharma.

DeSantis: anti-mask, anti-vax, anti-lockdown

DeSantis is “escalating” his campaign, in conjunction with his presidential bid, to discredit the Covid-19 vaccines and the companies that produced them. Indirectly this means he must attack Trump, given the vaccines were his program.

This will draw a sharp distinction between the governor and Biden who worked hand in hand with Big Pharma on pushing the Covid vaccines. Under the DeSantis administration Florida came out against mandatory vaccination, mask wearing and lockdowns. And his surgeon general also came out against vaccination. DeSantis touted Florida as an “oasis of freedom.” He even hosted a 90-minute discussion on the safety and efficacy of the Covid vaccines.

Covid policies could be centerpiece of campaign
DeSantis could make his Covid policies the immediate focus of his campaign as a way of distancing himself from Donald Trump. Even though, reportedly, the governor did receive a Johnson and Johnson jab.

This was at the beginning of the pandemic but DeSantis has evaded questions as to whether or not he received a booster. He has a point: it’s his own personal business.

Even though DeSantis wanted Trump’s approval in the past and the governor likely can’t win the White House without Trump’s base, DeSantis may use his Covid policies to bolster his conservative, differentiating views. “They didn’t want to have any criticism of their lockdown policies,” DeSantis said. “If you can’t defend the policy, then maybe you should be looking in the mirror. But that’s not what these elites wanted to do.”

DeSantis distrust of the vaccines spread in Florida and only 11.8% of Florida children five and older are fully vaccinated and boosted with the Covid-19 jab. The nationwide average is 17.4% according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). And Publix, the Florida drug store chain, decided not to offer the Covid shot to children under five years old. Even though Covid may be fading as a health issue, Ron DeSantis appears to be using it as a political issue.